Louis Couperin


Born: 1626; Chaumes, France   Died: August 29, 1661; Paris, France  
The Couperin family resembles, in many ways, the Bach family, though on a smaller scale: several generations of Couperins were important figures in the history of French music. Louis Couperin was the uncle to perhaps the best-known member of the Couperin family, François, also known as François le Grand. Louis was the son of Charles Couperin, organist of Chaume, and brother to Charles, also a successful organist and father to François. Read more

Very little is known about the early years of Louis' life, other than that he must have received excellent musical training (probably from Chambonnières), for he became an overnight success when he finally arrived in Paris around 1651. Once in Paris, he secured a job as an organist at St. Gervais and also played treble viol in the royal chapel. He was a well-known and well-respected musician in Paris, and was closely connected to many of the most important musicians in the city.

Aproximately 215 of Couperin's works survive today, although it is very likely that he composed many more. Most of his compositions are works for keyboard, and indeed Couperin is considered one of the greatest French keyboard composers of the seventeenth century. His oeuvre includes a great deal of music for organ, including a number of fugues, as well as music for the harpsichord. Couperin's harpsichord music has generated the most interest over the centuries: comprised largely of short dance pieces -- allemandes, courantes, gigues, sarabandes, etc. -- the harpsichord music is remarkable for its intensity and sudden harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic gestures.

Some scholars have suggested that Couperin was one of the first French harpsichord composers to adopt the new basso continuo style; others have noted that his style changed from medium to medium, so that the violin music, the organ music, and the harpsichord music each reveal a different facet of the same fertile musical imagination. Read less
Louis XIV: Les Musiques du Roi-Soleil
Release Date: 07/31/2015   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 961   Number of Discs: 3
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Couperin: Suites et Pavane / Sempe
Release Date: 06/09/2017   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 333   Number of Discs: 1
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Couperin - Le Clavecin Des Couperin / Dom Andre Laberge
Release Date: 10/26/2006   Label: Analekta  
Catalog: 23090   Number of Discs: 1
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Frescobaldi, Couperin: Keyboard Works / Gustav Leonhardt
Release Date: 07/20/2004   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 26   Number of Discs: 1
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Couperin: Tombeau De M. De Blancrocher, Etc / Glen Wilson
Release Date: 04/15/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555936   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 80 Louis Couperin recordings available.

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